When you browse open HR leadership jobs, you’ll find a few things in common. Companies look for people who have developed and executed large-scale recruiting strategies, worked with senior leadership to identify talent gaps, and managed complex budgets. In recent years, one qualification that has increased in desirability is expertise in the organization’s industry—or at least the ability to learn about it quickly.
Sure, this is a requirement for all roles across your company. But as a tech recruitment leader, your success is directly tied to how much you know about your industry and why your company stands out in it. Here are a few reasons why you should take this bullet point in your job description very seriously.
Developers are always interested in hearing about the workspaces and benefits that you offer to employees, While both of these things are commonly associated with the phrase “employer brand,” there’s much more behind the story you tell to potential candidates—and your company’s industry influences a large part of that.
In this year’s Developer Hiring Landscape report, we asked respondents to tell us how they assess potential jobs. One of their biggest priorities was the industry that they would be working in. Not far behind it was the impact of the product or service that they would be working on.
To put this into context, let’s rewind to 2008 when employer branding became a mainstream concept. Richard Mosely of the Harvard Business Review wrote, “In response to the growing competition for talent, leading companies like Unilever, Shell and P&G began to apply the same focus and consistency to their employer branding as they applied to their corporate and consumer branding.” Take a minute to reflect on that. This was the approach used by these companies over eight years ago, but based on what we learned in this year’s developer survey, it’s still incredibly relevant today to your talent acquisition strategy.
Again, it should be every employee’s responsibility to learn about your business. But as a manager, you should make it easy for recruiters (especially newer ones) to get up to speed quickly. Passing your expertise along not only makes them more effective when they’re in the office, but it also empowers them to have engaging conversations with developers at meetups.
Think back to the last time you spoke to a developer at an event. Your company didn't hire you to write bug-free lines of code, so what did you share with that person? You probably talked about the company you worked for, the technical projects that you knew were in the works, and why it was an exciting time to be there. Each of those talking points is directly related to your industry.
As your recruiters prepare for their next tech recruitment meetup, spend some time with them and review the company’s latest accomplishments. This might sound silly at first, but speaking with intelligent developers in person can be intimidating for any recruiter. Giving them a few bullet points about the projects your engineering team is working on and how it’s impacting your industry can make it much easier for everyone involved.
Being an expert in your company’s industry affects your talent acquisition strategy in a variety of ways. In fact, knowing your competition can give you the insights you need to ensure that your compensation strategy, benefits, and other perks are up to par.
Spend some time reviewing similar companies’ careers pages. What do they promote about their developer jobs? What makes them unique? Why do you think developers choose to work there? If you find that their openings seem more attractive, review your findings with hiring managers to find ways to match them. But if you feel that your jobs would be appealing to developers at these companies, you’ll have a better idea of where your top candidates are currently working.